U.S. economic confidence slips
February 14, 2017
• Overall, it’s still positive
• But economic outlook down significantly from January
Less than one month into the era of Donald Trump, Americans are losing some confidence in the U.S. economy.
Optimism, while still in positive territory overall, has slipped, according to Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index, which averaged +7 for the week ending February 12.
The latest weekly average is similar to the prior week's +8 index reading, but these are down from weekly scores averaging between +10 and +14 in January.
Around Donald Trump's inauguration last month, the index reached highs not seen before in Gallup's nine years of tracking economic confidence. And although the index has dropped several points in the first half of February, it remains higher than most of the readings Gallup has recorded since 2008.
Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.
Americans remain just as upbeat as they were in late January about current economic conditions, but they are now less optimistic about the economy's future.
The current conditions score for the week ending February 12 was +13, similar to the +12 to +14 weekly scores since mid-January. This was based on 32 percent of Americans rating the economy as "excellent" or "good," and 19 percent rating it as "poor."
Last week's economic outlook score was +1, similar to the prior week's +2 but much lower than the +13 scores in each of the last two weeks of January. The latest score was based on 47 percent of Americans saying economic conditions in the country were "getting better," and 46 percent saying they were "getting worse."
The drop in Americans' economic outlook is due to a decrease in optimism among Democrats and independents. Compared with their outlooks for the economy in late January, Democrats have become much more negative about the economy's future (from -28 in late January to -41 last week). At the same time, independents have fallen into negative territory on this component (from +14 in late January to -5 last week).
Republicans, who largely prompted the recent increase in overall economic confidence, have maintained their newfound optimism.
About the survey
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 6-12, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 3,534 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70 percent cellphone respondents and 30 percent landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.